Packers, Ferguson part ways

The Green Bay Packers are parting ways with veteran wide receiver Robert Ferguson, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy announced after the team's evening practice today. McCarthy declined to offer further details but said Ferguson would either be traded to another team or released.

"Robert will no longer will be a Packer," said McCarthy. "That's where we are right now. That's all I've got for you. We're moving on with the other guys and that's where it stands right now. I'll have more definitive information for you tomorrow."

Ferguson participated in the team's morning practice, but was told by McCarthy at about 5 p.m. not to dress for the 6:30 p.m. evening practice.

Ferguson entered training camp as somewhat of a longshot to make the team. The Packers selected two wide receivers in the recent NFL draft, including James Jones, who has had an impressive camp. Other younger receivers like Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday and Shaun Bodiford have performed better than Ferguson in practices and also are able to contribute on special teams in a bigger capacity than Ferguson.

"Just like I told him today, I think Robert Ferguson is a talented young man," said McCarthy. "I thought he busted his ass the whole time he was here. I thought he was a true professional, but we've gone another direction, and that's where we're at right now."

Ferguson, selected in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft by then general manager Mike Sherman, played in just four games in 2006 before he sustained a sprained arch in his foot Oct. 2 at Philadelphia. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Oct. 28.

With two seasons left on his contract, including a salary of $1.8 million in 2007, he was expendible among a corp of receivers that is young, but deep in talent behind starters Donald Driver and Greg Jennings.

"We feel good about what the other guys are doing," said McCarthy. "We think Ruvell Martin has had an excellent camp. Carlyle Holiday has had a very good camp and I think he really stepped out on special teams. As you get down the line, especially in any position groups, special teams is going to factor. That's every position. There were a number of factors that were involved in that decision."

Ferguson finished his Packer career by starting in 26 of 60 games. He caught 116 passes for 1,577 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had 38 catches for 520 yards and four touchdowns in 2003, but he missed 20 of 48 games due to injury in the last three seasons.

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